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Light Emitting Diodes

There are countless intriguing stories at the IMA, sometimes untold. Here is one of them.

LED fountain

Look like a rerun of X-Files? It’s not. If you’ve been around the Museum after dark recently, you may have spotted the new LED light installation in The Sutphin Fountain. Jeff Earl, head electrician at the IMA, replaced all the original white halogen lights, many submerged underwater, with the new technology. 

Red, green and blue LEDs of the 5mm type. Source: Wikipedia

Red, green and blue LEDs of the 5mm type. Source: Wikipedia

A light emitting diode (LED) is an electronic light source. The first LED was built in the 1920s by a radio technician who noticed that diodes used in radio receivers emitted light when current was passed through them. The LED was introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962 (See Wikipedia). LEDs are considered more energy efficient and require less maintenance than traditional lighting. They also boast a life of about 50,000 hours–more than five years! This replacement energy concept is certainly green for the IMA’s future. The well-known Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas uses LED technology to create its 1,500 foot light display.

The new LED technology also serves as an revenue generator. The public can request various colored lighting shows for weddings, dinners and other special events for a fee. Because the lights are run off a computer, the 17 color choices are easy to navigate between. When the NCAA was here, Jeff recalled, they requested a  blue and orange display and were very pleased with the result.

The IMA is planning several upcoming LED projects at the IMA. One of these efforts includes installing 49 energy efficient LED lights in the overlook of the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion of the Museum. (“Just before the Star Wars’ doors,” Jeff explained.)

Meet Jeff Earl and see time lapse footage of the LED light installation in the IMA ArtBabble video below.

Filed under: Current Events, Technology

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